Her answer was forthright and without hesitation. "I suffer from fibromyalgia," she stated. "I have visited Florida several times in the past few years and noticed a remarkable improvement in my health each time I am here. It has to do with the sunshine. I lie out every day- catching a few rays, weather permitting."
"Are you retired?" I countered.
"Oh, no," she said, "I just took time, job searched online, and relocated. I've never felt better in my life! I've only been here eight months."
With the onset of spring, her words rang true. I sometimes forget how blessed I am living here in a sunnier climate. When winter blues threaten to overtake my body with the painful symptoms of fibro, sun will peak out certain days to ensure my body gets a few delicious rays. The more days I am able to get in 20 - 40 minutes of sunlight the better I feel overall.
But why is this so?
Sunlight brings that wonderful vitamin D into our bodies. Vitamin D's benefits include:
• bone health
• supports the immune system
• protects against dementia and brain aging
• good for loosing excess fat
• essential for decreasing symptoms of asthma
• strengthens teeth
The Vitamin D and Fibromyalgia Connection
Fibromyalgia is above all a chronic muscular pain, but is associated with a number of other symptoms that include sleep disturbance and fatigue, headache, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, dyspareunia and mood disturbance.
Studies of fibromyalgia and persistent non specific musculoskeletal pain have found that a
low level of vitamin D is common. Vitamin D is an important immune system regulator. It has
been identified as a significant factor for incidence of several autoimmune illnesses such as Multiple sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus and inflammatory bowel disease. There is no consensus on optimal levels of 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D as measured in serum. Vitamin D deficiency is defined by most experts as 25 -Hydroxy Vitamin D level less then 20 ng /ml (50nmol/ml). With the use of such definitions, it has been estimated that one billion people worldwide have Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is common when most of the skin is shielded from sun. In studies in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Turkey, India and Lebanon, 30-50% of children and adults had 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D levels under 20 ng/ml.
As Vitamin D plays an important role in nonspecific musculoskeletal pain and fibromyalgia, and it has also been described in previouis studies that fibromyalgia patients were found to have vitamin D deficiency. The aim of this study was to determine the Vitamin D levels in patients with fibromyalgia in our population and whether this deficiency also prevails in our patients.
Vitamin D deficiency and osteomalacia should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or myositis. There is a need for both education of health
professional and the general public regarding the optimization of vitamin D status in the care of rehabilitating patients. http://www.jpma.org.pk/full_article_text.php?article_id=2395
I know this idea may not be a reality to many out there. But, if you are all able, do consider relocating to benefit your health. Why many do it all the time during their retirement! But, if you are unable, consider taking additional Vitamin D-3 to offset your symptoms.